Tina refills her shot glass. Tuna moves his shot glass toward Tina and nods. She refills Tuna’s shot glass. The Tuna and Tina look at each other, clink shot glasses. Tuna says, “Why would you want to do that?”
“You think it’s a bad idea, Tune? Stella had a great apartment over Rossi’s Bakery. I think it’s still available. Another benefit, Rossi sells day old bread at half price.”
The Tuna places his hands palms down on the table, he glares at Tony not saying anything. Tony looks down at the table, then over his shoulder at the wall, then over to Legos who’s staring at the sports section.
The Tuna speaks barely above a whisper, “I gonna tell you this once. You wanna go back to Stella, go back. You don’t come crying to me when she uses you or worse. The other thing, you go back with Stella you got to find a different job, I’ll be looking for a driver.”
Joey says, “Tune, can I be your driver. I don’t have a thing for Stella. I could have a thing for Stella, but she won’t give me a second look. I think she prejudiced against short men.”
Tuna turns toward Joey, “You’re doing time in Bridgewater. You can’t be my driver. Stella will eat you alive.”
“What a way to go,” says Joey. Joey continues, “I only gotta be in Bridgewater at ten at night because I’m what they call a trustee. Trustees not sposed to escape, but I’m really not escaping cause I keep going back. It’s like I’m in prison but I’m not in prison. The state’s giving me room and board and medical and letting me do what I want and long as I don’t get caught doing what I want.”
Tony nudges Nick, “Is Tune telling me to go with Stella or not go with Stella? Why’s Tune looking for another driver?”
Nick nods at Tuna and puts an arm around Tony’s shoulders and whispers to him, “Tony, buddy, pal, amigo, the Tuna is telling you if you decide to hook up with Stella again he’s through with you and he won’t help you out of the mess she’s gonna get you in.”
Somewhere in the deep recesses of Tony’s mind a switch is thrown, dendrites connect, a strobe light flashes red, green and yellow, Tony’s eyes open as wide as dinner plates. “Tune, I won’t take Stella back no matter how much she begs me. I won’t take her back if she crawls in The Lucky Canary and wraps her strong arms around my calves and looks up at me with those beautiful dark brown eyes, pushes out her pouty lips and licks them with her tongue. She scares me half to death at the same time she’s taking away my breath. I feel an old weakness coming on strong. What am I gonna do, Tune? I’m only a man, a weak one at that.”
Tina taps Tuna on the forearm, “The fools right on that score. You want me to use my ice pick on Stella? I can slide it in between her ribs, she won’t feel a thing.”
Tony touches Nicks arm, “You better propose, man. I never seen this side of Tina.”
Joey says, “I’m on your team, Tina. I don’t need an icepick in my ribs.”
Tina looks at Joey, “Was I talking to you. This is a private conversation between Tuna and me.”
“I didn’t hear nothing,” says Joey.
“Me neither,” says Nick.
“Did you say something?” asks Tony.
Legos is thinking, I gotta write a book about these people. Maybe I can start by putting it on a blog.
The Tuna says, “Beautiful broad I likes the way you cut the meat away from the bone. I think a subtle approach is much better than the direct approach if you know what I mean.”
Tina says, “You telling me to slip the ice pick into Stella from behind so she don’t see it coming?”
Legos is thinking the beautiful broad is as nuts as everyone else at the table.
Tuna says, “What you got to understand, beautiful broad, the authorities frown on murder. It’s one thing being the Dollar Store Bandits, it’s another thing if they dub you the Ice Pick Queen, you see what I’m saying?”
“Ice pick queen has a nice ring to it,” says Nick.
“Stay out of it until you propose, you sweet talking, good for nothing except loving and making me feel desired, fool,” says Tina.
“But, Tuna, I’ll make the hole so tiny, they’ll think it’s a mosquito bite, says Tina.
The Tuna refills Tina’s shot glass, “Knock it back, beautiful broad, you are projecting your anger at Nick onto Stella. We got to walk softly so nobody hears us coming.”
Tina knocks back the shot, “Thanks, Tuna. You are even smarter than the smartest man in the world.”
Tony says, “You saying the Tune is smarter than the Tune?”
Legos starts laughing.
The Tuna turns his attention to Tony, “Tone, think of Stella this way. You got all your ducks in a row and she shoots them all. You got all your eggs in a basket and she dumps the basket on the floor. Stella is gonna love you when pigs learn to fly. Falling for Stella is the last thing you need.”
Tony taps Nick on the shoulder, “What’s the Tune talking about. I don’t got ducks. My mom keeps her eggs in fridge. Can pigs fly? Did you read anything about pigs wanting to learn to fly?”
Tina taps the Tuna on the forearm, “I think you got to be more direct with the fool. He’s having a problem connecting the dots.”
“What dots?” asks Tony.